Source: Adapted from The Public Purpose, Wendell Cox Consultancy. Estimated
from data in National Transportation Statistics, James Dunn, Driving
Forces Table 4-3, FHWA Highway Statistics, National Transit Database
and American Public Transportation Association. All modes reported in
National Transit Database except vanpool. Pre-1920 personal vehicle
data estimated based upon vehicle miles, vehicle and fuel data.
Public Transport Market Share in the United States, 1900-2005
The impacts of individual mobility and motorization on urban transportation
have been significant. The outcome was a substantial decline of
the share of public transit in urban mobility to less than 2% of the
passenger miles in the early 21st century. The only setback in this
trend was World War Two when austerity measures forced urban residents
back to urban transit. As soon as the war was over, the trend resumed.
In the first half of the 20th century, the number of passenger miles
increased in spite of a declining share of public transit due to a large
growth of the urban population. However, from the 1950s there has been
virtually no changes in the level of public transit ridership in the
United States. The question remains about what will be the share of
public transit in future urban mobility.